Matric

Matric is an important qualification for many to achieve. Matric is generally a school-leaving qualification that you receive at the end of your Matric year at school. It is important to note that there are two Matric qualifications: 

What Is A Matric Certificate?

Matric Certificate is the common name given to either of the two Matric qualifications. Both the National Senior Certificate and the Senior Certificate (Amended) are NQF level 4 qualifications and are both commonly referred to as a Matric Certificate. 

What Age Is Matric?

Most Matric students in South Africa are 18. Some are 17 and a few are 19. However, there is no age limit to getting your Matric in South Africa. The oldest South African student to receive their Matric was Lavis Vilakazi, who was 77 years old when he completed his Matric.

What Qualification Is Matric?

Matric is an NQF level 4 qualification. Any qualification at NQF level 4 is considered a Matric Equivalent qualification. 

What Is NQF?

NQF stands for National Qualifications Framework. This is a system designed by SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) to determine the educational level of any qualification. 

This is to ensure that educational institutions and potential employers can know the educational level of your qualifications.

What Is A Bachelor Pass?

A Bachelor’s Degree pass is the highest passing level in Matric. There are four passing levels at the end of Matric. The four pass levels and their requirements are:

Pass Level

Requirements

Bachelor’s pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Diploma pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Higher Certificate pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for four other subjects

NSC pass/Matric pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for three other subjects

Can A 15-Year-Old Write Matric?

No, a 15-year-old cannot write Matric. You must be over the age of 16 to write your Matric exams. This is because you must have your ID to apply to write your Matric exams. 

Why Is Matric So Important?

Matric is important because it is the first requirement for most jobs in South Africa. Any potential employers will look for a Matric Certificate on your CV when you apply for a job. A Matric Certificate greatly improves your employment prospects and opportunities. 

What Can You Do With Matric?

There are many things you can do with Matric, depending on how well you passed and what you want to do. Some options are: 

  • Start working
  • Further your studies at a college 
  • Further your studies at a university

Can You Pass Matric Without Maths?

Yes, you can pass Matric without maths. The only subject you cannot fail is your Home Language. However, if you do not pass, you can rewrite it to improve the marks and pass.

Can You Do Matric Online?

You can study for your Matric online through distance learning. However, you cannot write your Matric exams online. You must write your Matric exams in a government-designated venue. 

How Much Does It Cost To Write Matric?

It is free to register with the Department of Education to write your Matric exams. 

Is Adult Matric The Same As Matric?

Yes, an Adult Matric qualification works exactly the same way as a school Matric qualification. The differences are: 

School Matric

Adult Matric

You will be under the age of 21 to write the exams

You will be over the age of 21 to write the exams

You will write Life Orientation

You will not write Life Orientation

You will write seven subjects

You will write six subjects

Where Can I Write Adult Matric For Free?

It is free to register with the Department of Education to write your Adult Matric exams. However, it is not free to study for your Adult Matric. You will pay the fees for the school or college where you study for your Adult Matric. 

Some reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric Programmes are: 

Do You Pay For Matric Rewrite?

You do not have to pay to register with the Department of Education to rewrite your Matric exams. However, you do have to pay the fees of the school or college where you study for your Matric. The fees will cover your tuition and your study materials. 

How Much Does It Cost To Rewrite Matric?

The cost of studying to rewrite your Matric will depend on where you choose to study for your Matric. The amount you pay will be the fees of the institution you study at. You will be charged fees to cover your tuition and your studying materials. 

Does NSFAS Fund Matric Rewrite?

No, NSFAS does not fund any Matric studies. NSFAS only funds South African students doing undergraduate studies at South African universities. 

Can I Rewrite My Matric Online?

You can study for your Matric Rewrite online through distance learning. However, you must write your exams in a government-designated venue, you cannot write your exams online. 

Can I Rewrite My Matric After 10 Years?

Yes, you can write your Matric after 10 years. When registering for a Matric Rewrite, you will rewrite the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams if you are under the age of 21. If you are over the age of 21, you will write the Senior Certificate (SC) exams for your Matric Rewrite. 

How Many Times Can I Rewrite My Matric?

There is no limit to the number of times you can rewrite your Matric as long as you are still under the age of 21. Once you are over the age of 21, you can apply for a Matric Upgrade instead. 

Which College Can I Rewrite My Matric?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric Rewrite programmes, such as: 

Can I Rewrite My Matric At A TVET College?

Yes, you can rewrite your Matric at a TVET college. Many TVET colleges offer Matric Rewrite options. TVET colleges also offer an Adult Matric course.

Who Qualifies For Matric Rewrite?

Anyone under the age of 21 will qualify for a Matric Rewrite if they meet the following requirements: 

  • You passed Matric but are unsatisfied with your results and would like to improve the marks of four subjects or fewer
  • You failed Matric but can pass by improving the marks of four subjects or fewer

What Is The Difference Between Matric Rewrite And Upgrade?

There are three main differences between Matric Rewrite and Matric Upgrade. They are: 

Matric Rewrite

Matric Upgrade

Must be under the age of 21

Must be over the age of 21

May not change subjects

May change up to four subjects

How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade Your Matric Results?

It is free to register with the Department of Education to write your Matric Upgrade exams. However, it is not free to study for your Matric Upgrade. You will pay the fees for the college where you study for your Matric Upgrade. These fees will cover your tuition and study materials. 

Does NSFAS Fund Upgrading Students?

No, NSFAS does not fund any Matric studies. NSFAS only funds tertiary education studies. These studies must be at the undergraduate level and must be at a South African university. NSFAS also only funds South African citizens.

Who Qualifies For Matric Upgrade?

Anyone over the age of 21 qualifies for Matric Upgrade if they meet the following requirements: 

  • You passed Matric but are unsatisfied with your results and would like to improve your marks 
  • You failed Matric and would like to improve your results to improve

Can I Upgrade My Matric Results After 5 Years?

Yes, you can upgrade your Matric any time after you have turned 21. There is also no limit to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric

Can I Change My Matric Subjects After Matric?

You can change your subjects if you are doing a Matric Upgrade. However, if you are doing a Matric Rewrite, you cannot change your subjects.

Can I Upgrade My Matric At UNISA?

No, you cannot upgrade your Matric at UNISA. UNISA does not offer any Matric studies. UNISA only offers university courses because it is a tertiary education institution.

Can I Upgrade My Matric At A TVET College?

Yes, you can upgrade your Matric at a TVET college. Some TVET colleges do offer courses to upgrade your Matric results. Check with the TVET college you are applying to about whether they offer Matric Courses.

What Can I Study If I Failed Matric?

There are many options for you to further your studies even if you failed your Matric, such as: 

  • ICB courses 
  • Short courses

ICB Courses

There are three ICB courses you can choose to study without Matric:

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Office Administration

None of these courses require Matric to be able to apply. ICB Business Management requires Grade 11 to apply. ICB Financial Accounting requires Grade 10 to apply. ICB Office Administration requires Matric or a Matric Equivalent Qualification to apply. 

The ICB Business Management and Financial Accounting courses each have a Matric Equivalent level. This means that you can study the Matric Equivalent level of these courses and then use it to apply for the ICB Office Administration course. 


ICB courses have been accredited by the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and QCTO (the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). This means that qualifications from the ICB are recognised by employers as formal qualifications.

Where Can I Study ICB Courses?

There are many places you can study ICB courses. Some reputable distance learning colleges that offer these ICB courses are: 

Short Courses

There are also many short courses offered at four of the above colleges. 

Short Courses At Matric College

Short Courses At Skills Academy

Short Courses At Ember Academy

Short Courses At Learning Group

What Have We Learned?

  • Matric is important to improve your employment prospects
  • Matric is an NQF level 4 qualification. Any qualification at NQF level 4 is a Matric Equivalent qualification
  • NQF is a system to determine the educational level of qualifications
  • A Bachelor’s pass is the highest passing level in Matric
  • There are four passing levels
  • You must be over the age of 16 to write Matric
  • You cannot pass Matric without passing oyur Home Language subject
  • You can study for your Matric online, but you must write your exams in a government-designated venue
  • It is free to register to write your Matric exams. However, it is not free to study for your Matric
  • There is no difference in how your Matric Certificate functions whether it is a school Matric or Adult Matric
  • There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric programmes
  • NSFAS does not fund any Matric studies
  • You cannot write your Matric, rewrite your Matric, or upgrade your Matric at UNISA
  • You can study Matric at many TVET colleges
  • You must be under the age of 21 to rewrite your Matric
  • You must be over the age of 21 to upgrade your Matric
  • You can only change your subjects after Matric if you are doing a Matric Upgrade
  • There are many study opportunities available even if you failed Matric
  • There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer courses that do not require Matric to apply

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Published by : Sive Ncanywa
Published date : June 28 , 2022

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